Lying where it last rested, the remains of riverboat Abner O'Neal were seen after being shipwrecked 130 years ago. Though not much is left of the old steamer, the drought exposed its outline with a two-foot drop in river water level.
More than a hundred years ago, the Abner O'Neal shipwrecked in 1892 had the bottom part of what's left of its hull exposed by drought. It was left at the North of Bismarck, in North Dakota, where she ended up and never moved from.
Abner O'Neal's final journey
Based on the account more than a century old, the ship was plying its route carrying 9,000 bushels of wheat in the late 1800s from Washburn to Mandan, noted KYFR-TV.
A report by Fox 4 mentioned that at least one-third of the land area is under drought in Missouri. The lowering of the river's water level would affect crops but expose the wreck remains.
For more than one hundred years, the wreck was not fully visible, but lowered waters allow history enthusiasts to see the 1800's era riverboat remains.
A shipwreck in North Dakota?!?— Jody Kerzman (@Jody_Kerzman) September 27, 2021
It’s true! The Abner O’Neal sunk in 1892, and the boat has been here ever since.
Now low water levels on the Missouri are making it more visible than ever.
The story tonight on @KFYRTV pic.twitter.com/7GBYG3r0sZ
Until the waters rise again, those wanting to see the Abner O'Neal outline in the shallow river will still be visible. According to kayaker Nyk Edinger, having the chance to see riverboat Abner O'Neal wreck above water would be amazing to see, reported the Daily Mail.
He added when the actual thing was seen, the outline of the hull was still intact after a long time submerged in the river. It continues to amaze onlookers and visitors to see it still exists now.
Anyone looking for the riverboat wreck should head to 25-miles north of Bismarck, in North Dakota. Once the waters rise, the river will hide it again.
History of the riverboat Abner O' Neal
The Abner O'Neal was fabricated in 1884 at Freedom, Pennsylvania, related to the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
This vessel was given its designation from one popular shipping personality in the 1870s, Capt. Abner O'Neal of the Steubenville/Wheeling steamboat industry. Operating for several years quite successfully as a passenger ship and doubled as a cargo carrier that moved throughout the region.
Soon after, the current owners of the paddle steamer sold it to a company called Missouri River Transportation Company in the 1890s. Before she was sold, it seemed to be smooth steaming, but after 1891, the ship's fortunes changed.
One year after it was used by its new owners, in November 1891, when the ship was hemmed in by the early winter ice freeze in Painted Woods. It was stranded by the ice for four months, lasting till 1892.
After getting freed from getting iced for several months, then on July 7, a disaster struck. While plying the river, the boat hit a submerged snag or rock that punctured its hull and caused the ship to sink.
Soon it was unable to keep afloat and sank with the cargo on board. Its final site is where the riverboat Abner O'Neal shipwreck is seen today. In the last 130 years, she lay there only to be seen seasonally till the river iced up in the winter.